Texas Students Receive Access to Rural Broadband Services

Bridging the Digital Divide: High-Speed Internet Access to Become a Reality

Charlotte, NC March 4, 2009– Conterra Telecom Services , a national broadband services company specializing in rural areas, has been awarded a seven year contract to provide high-quality, high-speed wireless wide area network services to the Wireless Internet Consortium, lead by Texas Region 10 Educational Service Center (ESC) for 38 member school districts. The Ethernet-based microwave radio network will upgrade service currently provided by the Consortium’s current low bandwidth network to a state-of-the art Ethernet based, wide area broadband network connecting its member districts to Region 10’s administration building located in Richardson. The telecommunication services provided by Conterra are supported through the federal E-Rate program which subsidizes a large portion of the consortium member’s costs of utilizing the new services.

Conterra’s managed broadband networks support the convergence of integrated data, video and voice services on single circuits allowing the consolidation of multiple service providers to a single source of performance accountability. Conterra monitors, manages and supports its networks on a 24x7x365 basis and guarantees network performance and reliability. In addition to Internet access, Conterra’s network services will be used to support Region 10’s videoconferencing network which provides student credit courses, virtual field trips, graduate degrees and certifications for district staff members along with professional development support.

“Broadband Internet service has not been available to many school districts throughout Region 10’s service area, says Gary Bowers, Assistant Director Telecommunications,” So we formed a consortium that will provide each school district 20 Mbps of Internet access through Conterra’s carrier class broadband wireless network. Conterra exceeded all our requirements including a design that will support increased bandwidth in future years.”

The Region 10 Wide Area Network services contract is one of three major E-Rate telecommunications contracts recently awarded to Conterra in Texas. A similar Conterra high-speed broadband network project in Region 14 ESC became operational last summer, and a new broadband network services contract for Region 15 ESC has recently been awarded to the company. When these broadband networks are completed, Conterra will bring high-quality, high-speed, Ethernet-based broadband and Internet services to 125 Texas school districts at performance levels comparable to those enjoyed by schools in the state’s largest metropolitan areas. “The real convergence that serves rural school districts’ needs best is when new technology and appropriate funding sources combine to overcome the realties of distance and demographics in providing equal learning opportunities to all American school children,” commented Conterra’s President, Dennis Francis. “We are proud to be part of such a worthwhile, long-term project as the one in Texas’ Region 10 school district consortium,” he added.

About Conterra Telecom Services
Conterra Telecom Services, headquartered in Charlotte, NC, is a national provider of facilities-based broadband services for schools, wireless carriers and select enterprises that require bandwidth intensive, carrier-grade data, video and voice transport services primarily in outer suburban and rural markets. Conterra and its subsidiaries currently provide these services to over 1,000 K-12 schools and colleges throughout the United States, affording state-of-the-art broadband services to hundreds of thousands of students, teachers and administrators.

Privately owned, Conterra was established by the founders and members of management of Vanguard Cellular Systems, Inc., which became one of the first and largest independent cellular companies in the United States. Started in 1982, Vanguard designed, built and operated its own point-to-point microwave transport systems to support wireless voice and data traffic within its mostly rural cellular networks throughout the country which are now part of AT&T Mobility. For more information about Conterra, visit www.conterra.com or call: 800-634-1374.